I received Israel Centeno's 1997 novel Exilio en Bowery in the mail today and began to read it on the subway to work this morning. From what I can tell, it takes place in New York in the early to mid-1990s. As with his first novel Calletania (1992) and the short stories I've read, Centeno's prose is always sharp and a pleasure to read. In some ways, Centeno's New York is an equivalent to Caracas, at least in how both cities can be extremely violent yet inspiring.
I've also been reading Anselm Berrigan's great new book Some Notes on My Programming (Edge Books, 2005), whose title poem can be read online here. I think one aspect of his poetry I've enjoyed is noticing the allusions to various Pavement albums. In this collection, Berrigan maintains an affinity for poems that seem to invade and overtake the page, full of the static that builds between noise and contemplation.
Finally, I'm also reading Barbara Jane Reyes' second book, Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which offers a map of the poet's hometown, emphasizing the palimpsest quality of the city, layers of personal and ancestral histories. The poems in this collection lead into each other, a sequence of moments and locations in what might be San Francisco, or what might be the eternal city certain poets choose as their muse, no certainty in maps.